Well this week was pretty good! We had some fun stuff so that was great :) But the investigator pool is still very very little which is a bummer, but it will be fine.
Monday Nov 10 2014 - we met with Asefa which was fun, he is just a rock star. Seriously love him, just a humble nice guy.
Tuesday Nov 11 2014 - Happy 5 months to meeee. We met with Chi, and pretty much had a drop lesson. At the moment she isn't ready for the gospel, but in 5 months I bet she will be baptized. She has faith and is super sweet, but just needs a tiny bit more time. I can't wait to hear about it from other missionaries who will serve up here. It was kind of sad to drop her, but it was definitely what was needed. Although she will continue reading and praying so that is awesome :) Then we met with a guy name Jocke who is only 17... I totally thought he was like 24 when we contacted him on the street the week before.. but no. haha We met with him and he is a new investigator! Yay! So we are meeting with him again tomorrow! Then we met with Abood and that was good.
Wednesday Nov 12 2014 - We met with Henrik, following up on faith then we taught him the Word of Wisdom. Well at this point he kind of turned that down. He said he wants to quit smoking, but he doesn't know when. So we decided the next time we met with him to focus on prayer because he says he feels awkward praying still, which is totally understandable, but we want him to become comfortable with it, and that is how he is going to gain a testimony so we focused on that. We committed him to act on his desire for knowledge by reading daily, praying daily, and coming to church weekly. He has come to church once, he didn't come yesterday but he had told us he couldn't make it this week, so next week he better be there. We still think he is progressing because he is being willing to act and I totally believe one day he will get baptized, it will just take some patience and love. He is cool though, and he is finding answers that he has had.
Then we visited a couple old ladies who are less actives. One because she is a vegetable and the other because she forgets about church or/and with the church moved to the school she has had a hard time trying to find it. It is hard that she doesn't have a cell phone, but it is okay. She is sweet.
Then we swung by a family that we had given a Book of Mormon and they invited us in. They are from Burma, and super nice! Kind of a bummer that the church doesn't have any material in any of the languages from Burma. But we explained the Book of Mormon to them and then part of the restoration, invited them to read, pray and come to church. They committed except not this Sunday cause they had a family thing. So next Sunday they should be there. Two girls, one like 17 yrs old, one 22, then the mom and dad. They have sons too, but they didn't sit in on the lesson. I can totally see them getting baptized because they are already Christian and seemed open, and super sincere. They were really genuine people :) We are meeting with them again tonight! :)
Oh, had dinner with the Vinberg's tonight, which was fun and yummy :) I appreciate them.
Thursday Nov 13 2014 - We woke up at 4 and left at 5 to get to the airport and we flew to Stockholm! We had a Sister's conference, which was AWESOME! We got there a little earlier than other sisters so we helped set up, then we had an interview with president! Finally ;) haha It wasn't anything too special actually, he took us both in there, we talked for a few minutes, then he dismissed Sister Mod, and we talked for like 2 minutes tops, and then we switched. Haha I just don't know president that well yet, but I am sure with this upcoming transfer, since I won't be forever away I may be able to get to know him a little better, plus just the fact of being on the mission longer. Then we had the sisters conference which was just a blast. It was nice to be able to meet all the sisters in the mission, they all seem superb! Really we are so blessed in this mission.
The conference started with doing Zumba with Sister Beckstrand leading us!! It was so fun :) We did that for about 20 minutes then hurried and changed back to skirts and had a little opening then split into two classes where we learned about gratitude and happiness. It was so much fun and really nice to be reminded on how important those things are especially here in this missionary work! Then we had lunch and it was delicious! Baked potatoes with chili. I was happy. Then we split into two more classes where Sister Tolley talked about choices and how important they are then gave us ice cream, which was so yummy. And Sister Beckstrand who talked about three important bones that we have; 1- a back bone, need to be able to carry things in life and be responsible. 2- a wish bone, need to have dreams and go after them 3- a funny bone, need to be able to laugh about things and not be too serious. Then she talked a lot about the light of Christ and the gift we have. It was so good!
What is so cool is that after this conference I have felt the spirit of happiness and gratitude so much stronger. After that sisters conference I have constantly been looking and finding things to smile about and laugh about. I love the work I am doing and the spirit that accompanies it. I am super grateful for the Beckstrands and the other great sisters who prepared everything for us. It was a wonderful conference!
Friday Nov 14 2014 - We met with Henrik again, but I already explained that, and then a lot of bloasts and things falling through, but it was fine. We got to teach that Chinese family, familjen Hu again which was fun. They read the pamphlets and prayed so that was really good that they made some progression! It seems like we can only meet once a week with them though :/ After them we went to catch our bus home and we were 4 minutes early to the bus station and the bus had already left :/ It was the end of the line so sometimes they like to go early, but it was frustrating. But instead of being frustrated, I had some fun catching snowflakes in my mouth, and taking pictures in the snow. haha I was like a child, but no one was outside, and we were way too far away to walk so we waiting a half hour for the next bus.
Saturday Nov 15 2014 - The big day finally came! We left our place at 7:30 and got to the Skellefteå chapel at 9:40. It usually only takes an hour and a half but it snowed all night Friday and all day Saturday so the roads were covered! Good thing I feel comfortable in snow. :) But we got there and everyone else called us telling us they would be late, so the baptism started at 10:30 instead of 10. We improvised since the person giving the talk didn't get there until 10:50 so we had testimonies by; Marika (Stefan's step mom), me, Attila (Stefan's dad), and Johan Wirtala before we did the baptism, and that was super fun. I was grateful I could bare my testimony :) Then we did the baptism, and the spirit was strong, I was really happy for Stefan. After we all wrote a note to Stefan while they got changed, then Bertil who was supposed to give the talk before the baptism did so afterwards, then Stefan bore his testimony. It was the sweetest little thing. All went well, then we rode back with Linnea Dannel and Joel and Linnea paid for our lunch which was super nice of her. Then we ran and visited Agnes who is a less active 20 year old, and that was a lot of fun. Then we did weekly planning the rest of the night. Lots of driving for the day, but just super happy about all who came to Stefan's baptism and that all turned out great! :)
Sunday Nov 16 2014 - Church was great, but no investigators came to church :( kind of a bummer. But Stefan was confirmed and that was super great as well :) Then we had dinner at the Wirtalas, tacos, the usual and fantastic. I took pictures with them because I have a feeling I may only have one more week here in Luleå.
Transfers are coming up on the 26th, and I have been here for four and a half months, so I am pretty sure I will be moving and Sister Mod might be training someone else up here! But it is so weird to think this is my last week here in Luleå. I am pretty sad thinking about leaving all the wonderful members here, but I am excited to see what is in store. I am so grateful I could begin my mission up here in the North though. What a special place :) I can't wait to come back and visit here one day. I'm going to laugh if I don't get transferred next week though. OH! Importance- our Pday got switched from next Monday to this SATURDAY. Just because of thanksgiving traveling missionaries. So hopefully I don't have zero emails next pday, but I know yall are busy, but that is when I will be on! It will be a little weird, but whatever. I also should find out if/where I am transferring on Saturday, so hopefully I find out before we email! haha
Well that is about all! Oh I figured I would throw this in.. just some stuff from studies;
I just love the scriptures, personal study time is one of my favorite times in the day. I read Jacob 5-7 this week with the institute manual on those chapters, which I just love using because it makes me understand the little things that I wouldn't get, plus gives you more background to really get each little symbol. One thing I loved and never thought of before was from the student manual, it says:
“This allegory as recounted by Jacob is from the outset intended to be about Christ. …
“Even as the Lord of the vineyard and his workers strive to bolster, prune, purify, and otherwise make productive their trees in what amounts to a one-chapter historical sketch of the scattering and gathering of Israel, the deeper meaning of the Atonement undergirds and overarches their labors. In spite of cuttings and graftings and nourishings that mix and mingle trees in virtually all parts of the vineyard, it is bringing them back to their source that is the principal theme of this allegory. Returning, repenting, reuniting—at-one-ment—this is the message throughout.
“… At least fifteen times the Lord of the vineyard expresses a desire to bring the vineyard and its harvest to his ‘own self,’ and he laments no less than eight times, ‘It grieveth me that I should lose this tree.’ One student of the allegory says it should take its place beside the parable of the prodigal son, inasmuch as both stories ‘make the Lord’s mercy so movingly memorable.’
“Clearly this at-one-ment is hard, demanding, and, at times, deeply painful work, as the work of redemption always is. There is digging and dunging. There is watering and nourishing and pruning. And there is always the endless approaches to grafting—all to one saving end, that the trees of the vineyard would ‘thrive exceedingly’ and become ‘one body; … the fruits [being] equal,’ with the Lord of the vineyard having ‘preserved unto himself the … fruit.’ From all the distant places of sin and alienation in which the children of the Father find themselves, it has always been the work of Christ (and his disciples) in every dispensation to gather them, heal them, and unite them with their Master” (Christ and the New Covenant , 165–66).
Well I love you guys sooo very much :) I hope you have a wonderful week and remember to be grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ, He did it so that we could repair ourselves and overcome obstacles. Thanks for everything you all do.